Tomorrow begins the Triduum, the three days in which we commemorate the events that are at the center of the Catholic faith – the Passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Triduum begins on Holy Thursday and ends with the celebration of the Easter Vigil. The liturgies of the Triduum help us to remember that Christ’s sacrifice was not just an event of the past, but a reality that continues to change us today.
At his general audience, Pope Francis encouraged Catholics to “not only observe the Lord’s Passion, but truly enter into its mystery, making our own the sentiments of Christ.” He also gave a run-down of the Triduum – what we celebrate and what it means for us today.
If you have never experienced the Triduum, here is an introduction courtesy of Pope Francis:
“We begin the Triduum by celebrating the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, as we recall Christ’s offering of his body and blood to the Father, which he gave to the Apostles as food for their nourishment, with the command that they perpetually celebrate these mysteries in his memory. We recall also the Lord washing the Apostles’ feet, through which he showed that the purpose of his life and passion is to serve God and neighbor, a service which we are called to imitate by loving one another as he loved us.”
“On Good Friday, we will meditate on the mystery of Christ’s death and we will adore the Cross. By his sacrifice, sin has been overcome through love, an immense love which we are called to live and transmit.”
“On Holy Saturday, we will contemplate Jesus’ lying in the tomb, and with Mary, the Church will keep alive the flame of faith, hoping against every hope in Christ’s resurrection.”
“Then, at the Easter Vigil, when the Alleluia resounds again, we will celebrate the Risen Christ, the center and fulfillment of the universe and history.”
The Triduum liturgies are a truly beautiful way of making the mystery of Christ’s sacrifice and love come alive. Most churches have liturgy schedules on their web sites – find a church near you at MassTimes.org and enter into the mystery this Easter.